Della is a school teacher in the year 1899, she has taught school for two years in Salt Lake City, on the west side. She is the niece of prominent attorney Karl Anders, she’s been raised by them since her father died in a mining accident when she was young, but she’s never felt as though she were a part of the family. She spontaneously decided to take a teaching job in the small mining community of Winter Quarters, which her Aunt Caroline especially doesn’t approve of. The town of Winter Quarters is far up the canyon and it’s a bit of a trial to get there, even by train. The coal cars coming out of the canyon have the right of way on the train tracks, so the trains must wait on a side line and they shake uncontrollably as the coal cars rush by. This is very startling to Della, she’s used to the big city, not to the life of a remote mining camp. It doesn’t help that the principal of the school, Miss Clayson doesn’t like her, or her curly hair! And her little house burned down right before her arrival, so Della has no where really to live. Things are looking hard, but then she meets the children and falls in love with them. But will the children be the only ones she falls in love with?
I was really excited when I was asked to be part of this year’s blog tour for this book, because I knew I would get to re-read this one, and I don’t get to re-read books very often any more! I loved this book the first time I read it, so I was excited to get to spend some more time in Della’s world. I loved this book just as much the second time that I read it. I have to say that Della is one of my all-time favorite characters. She seems so real, so loving and so 1900’s she’s the perfect character for this book. I love her love story, it’s so sweet, and I have to admit that I cried at the end of this book, both time’s I’ve read it. Carla Kelly did such a great job with the setting and story of this book that you feel like you are right there, it’s no wonder this book was nominated for a Whitney Award this year.
This book contains a few scenes where women spend time in the sauna unclothed. Not recommended for young readers.
I was sent a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Award-winning author Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. Recently, she’s been writing Regency romances (think Pride and Prejudice) set in the Royal Navy’s Channel Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars between England and France. She comes by her love of the ocean from her childhood as a Navy brat.
Carla’s history background makes her no stranger to footnote work, either. During her National Park Service days at the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Carla edited Friedrich Kurz’s fur trade journal. She recently completed a short history of Fort Buford, where Sitting Bull surrendered in 1881.
Following the “dumb luck” principle that has guided their lives, the Kellys recently moved to Wellington, Utah, from North Dakota and couldn’t be happier in their new location. In her spare time, Carla volunteers at the Railroad and Mining Museum in Helper, Utah. She likes to visit her five children, who live here and there around the United States. Her favorite place in Utah is Manti, located after a drive on the scenic byway through Huntington Canyon.